The simple route to happiness

Today truly was one of my favorites, ever. It wasn’t anything crazy, or even special really… it was just a good day, from start to finish. More importantly, it demonstrated the life-changing power of a tidy house, a tidy life. That, and the power of following your gut.

My family and I stayed in RVA this weekend. I’m learning over and over (the hard way) that the more we stay home on weekends, the happier we are. It really is that simple.

I was slated to head to Denver, CO for a very dear friend’s wedding; I fret and cried and prayed over whether or not I should go for months. It was an extremely hard decision— and I’m not just saying that. You see, I have a very small place in my life for friends. As an introvert, I have to be careful to choose my “people-time” wisely, that is, with people I actually like. So, I have a couple really good friends… and that’s kind of it. To miss one of their weddings? Well, let’s just say it was something I never ever thought I would do. But Denver is really far. And getting there, staying there, is really expensive. Money-wise and maybe more importantly, energy-wise. When it came down to it, I knew my gut was telling me to stay home. When I finally made the call to tell my friend, it was both heartbreaking and relieving. And with that relief, I knew immediately that I’d made the right call.

So we stayed in Richmond. We went on a family date to see some ‘dragon-boat’ racing on Saturday, hit up my favorite restaurant (Proper Pie Co) and then Ford and I went on a bona fide date! We saw Andrew Bird— a breathtakingly talented musician– at Maymont.

All that activity on Saturday left my heart overflowing with joy and that ever-elusive sense of peace. So on Sunday, I could clean to my heart’s content. To start, our house was a wreck. I’d been racing around for about a month straight– no weekends– and our house was showing it. I started in the kitchen and moved on from there. By the end of the day, the laundry was done, the house was straight, the floors were mopped, the bathrooms tidied… it was bliss. {Not to mention, our handyman came by and fixed a clog in our Master Bathroom sink that had been clogged for wayyyy too long.}

The crazy thing was that I slept like a baby. And so did Ford. and so did Thad. I woke up for the first time in months feeling rested. I didn’t even hit snooze. I went to Thad’s room, got him up and even offered to take him to daycare (this is literally never ever something I do). T and I made a healthy-ass breakfast and Thad played downstairs while I go ready. Bonus points: I’d planned and ironed my outfit and showered the night before. The weather was the most delectable 85 degrees, with no humidity and not a cloud in the sky. I didn’t snap at Thad once. I headed into work, had a productive but chill day, ate lunch with a coworker outside. The entire day I just felt… ahead. What I’ve been longing for—striving for—for god-knows-how-long, is it just feel caught up. Today, I felt caught up. After work, I got a mind-blowing reiki massage that left me on cloud nine. After that just couldn’t let the sun go down without experiencing more of the most gorgeous weather so I took Thad for a surprise post-dinner walk! We had so much fun… no phone, no interruptions… just quality time with my one and only child.

I honestly can’t remember having a better day. It was just peaceful. No fireworks, no rainbows, just serenity. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for? A happy everyday? I know I want more of these; for me, it starts with a weekend at home and a tidy (really tidy, not just clean) home.


Minimalist Upgrades I’m Loving

While being a minimalist certainly means owning less, it also means owning better. For certain things that I truly do need, I’ve been slowly upgrading each little item, one at a time.

  1. My toothbrush. One 2017 goal of mine is to get all my counters completely clear. One way I did that was to switch out my old toothbrush routine with a paired down but upgraded routine. I’ve always been a fan of the electric toothbrush but until now, that meant having a clunky charger plugged into the wall with a big ol’ honker of a toothbrush perched on top. Not only was this unsightly, but I also never remembered to buy new toothbrush heads, and the charger was always getting nasty gunk on it. No thank you. So, I updated it with a Quip toothbrush — both beautiful and ultra-functional. It solved all those little problems for me. The toothbrush heads automatically come every 3 months, it hangs on my mirror in a sleek holder, and it is way, way smaller than any other electric brush I’ve used.
  2. My alarm clock. Like most people, I used to use my iphone as my alarm clock. But as I read about the radiation from cell-phones, and found myself waking up and scrolling instagram incessantly, I realized that I needed to find a different way. I purchased this tiny little alarm clock that has everything I need: an alarm (with snooze!), a light, and of course the aesthetics that I want. Now I charge my phone in my living room, allowing me to really ‘turn off’ before heading to bed at night and helping me wake up more peacefully.
  3. My water bottle. We all know we need to drink more water. But that doesn’t change our behavior. What does? A really lovely water bottle that I get excited to use. It’s that simple. (Plus, it keeps my water really cold. Bonus points.)

I realized this morning that I am discontented. Very very deeply discontented. I am lucky enough to live in a house that I “own” with my husband and son. But everything is broken. I mean, literally, it’s all broken. Holes in the walls that need patching, countertops that need re-glazing, chairs the need reupholstering, car seats that need to be fixed. And I’ve been pursuing minimalism, trying so hard to get there because I am under the assumption that once I’m ‘there’, I won’t have a mess to deal with. Shit will stay clean. The bathroom will be easy to wipe up. Or maybe I’m so freaking discontent because I think I just need the right thing. Once I have money to replace all my crap with the best version (and just one), THEN I will be happy. THEN my mind will be clear. But I mean… it’s so obvious, it’s painful. Of course, this stuff won’t make me happy. If I’m unhappy now, I’ll be unhappy then. Right? Right?? Will I ever get to the end of my to-do list? Will I ever fix all of my daily annoyances? It is so tempting RIGHT NOW to just close out this wordpress doc, and search pinterest for peaceful scenes. For products that promise to make me happy. but FUCK. If they won’t make me happy, what will???

As I sat in mass today, my eyes glazed over and I didn’t even open my mouth to sing. I was so… over it. “If you ponder the weight of an apple, compared to the trouble we’re in, then a grown might, be tempted to question his birthright, in front of his kids and devout wife, causing the doubt to begin to spread like original sin.”

Is it my debt that is so heavy? Between the debt, the kid, the job, I feel trapped. What can I really do to change my life? I can’t renovate my house because I’m already indebted beyond my limits. I can’t buy stuff to replace my crappy stuff because I am literally living paycheck to paycheck. This is not the life I want. I never thought I’d be living paycheck to paycheck as a 27 yr. old mother. It’s shameful (oh, but there’s my catholic showing), and embarrassing (once again- catholic) and I feel so nervous all the time. I’m nervous for the hammer to drop and tear through our life that we already are so out of control with. IF anything happens- even the smallest thing- we aren’t ready. We aren’t prepared. We’ve got no backup.

So what if we move? What if we sell this house, make a profit, pay off all our debt, and buy a super sleek, totally minimal small house? Will I be happy then? No debt, no clutter. No place to host. I think of my sister’s houses and I can not fathom what they must make in order to have that kind of purchasing power. Will we ever get there?

Why I Choose Minimalism

Marie Kondo instructs us to, prior to beginning any tidying, envision our life once tidied. In concrete terms. So here it is: why I choose minimalism.

When I wake up in the morning, I want to walk into a bathroom that is free of clutter. Spacious and clean. I make no decisions- they are already made. There is only one of each item. Then, I begin choosing what to wear for the day. I peek in my closet and drawers and instantly know what I want to wear. And really, whatever I choose, I will love. There is nothing in my closet that doesn’t bring me joy. I know that when I’m out, I’ll be excited to be seen in these clothes. Each and every article makes me feel beautiful, feminine, put-together, stylish and lovely. On my walk down to the kitchen, my pathway is free. All items are in their homes. Oh, and if there is one toy or sock on my way? I know exactly where it goes so I pick it up and put it away, barely noticing a skip in my step.

On my way out the door, I grab my usual breakfast and quickly put together a lunch. There is one type of bowl I use and I have just enough. This is easy too because everything is easy to see; my fridge and pantry are stocked with my favorite foods that fuel my body with life. Everything is in a clear container so it is easy to pick out and put away. No crinkly wrapping or digging through to find what I need. Everything is easy to see.

On my way out the door, I grab the purse I need, quickly load it with my wallet, receipt pouch, and anything else I might need that day. I am in the car in no time, no rushing or running around. I don’t run back upstairs because I knew where everything was… I didn’t forget anything.

My car is spick and span too. I place my purse where it always sits, slide on my sunglasses and head to work. Maybe I listen to a podcast on the way, maybe some music. Either way, I arrive at work happy and excited to start my day.

When I get home, I have Thad. It’s a Friday so he has his weekly bag. I quickly put his sheet  + blankie in the laundry with a load of his clothes. I put together his bag for Monday- pull ups, a clean sheet and blankie, and some extra clothes. And before the weekend even begins, we are ready for Monday!

Thaddeus and I slip off our shoes, coats, and bags and put them exactly where they go. I unload my bag and hang it up, ready to be used again. Thaddeus heads to the playroom and I head upstairs where I am greeted with a brilliantly clean kitchen. I grab that teakettle I love, a mug I adore, and quickly put on a pot of tea. I light a candle to remind myself of the sacredness of this time. I slip into my slippers.

I check the calendar to see what is planned for dinner: I pull that all out and put it together, enjoying the smooth way the knife cuts the veggies and the sizzle of oil in my favorite pan. Ford comes home and dinner is ready! Thad runs to the door, “Daddy!” Thad sits with Ford as he takes off his shoes and coat and puts them away. They come upstairs with smiles on their faces. Ford runs upstairs to get out of his “work clothes” while Thad helps me set the table for dinner. It already smells SO good!

We eat dinner with some light music in the background, talking about our days and savoring the delicious meal. Once finished, Thad and I take our time, put all the dishes in the dishwasher, start a load and head upstairs. Ford begins cleaning up from the cooking while I draw a bath for Thad. I have somewhere to sit, and Thad takes a nice long bath because we’ve got all the time in the world. It’s only 6:30pm, afterall.

When finished, I lather him up with lotion, pick a favorite pair of PJs, and hop into bed with him. He chooses his three books or three songs and we enjoy this ritual together. For the last book or song, Ford joins us. We then say prayers together as a family, and close the door as Thad drifts off to sleep.

Ford and I share a hug and take in the moment: being together, parenting together, and loving each other. The kitchen is all clean so we choose if what to do that night: read, screen time, or a project/ hobby. Maybe I break out the sewing machine or the art supplies!

Once 9 pm hits, our bedtime ritual begins. I hop in the shower or wash my face. I take off my makeup and get into my cozy pajamas that I love. I roll out my beautiful yoga mat, light a candle, put on some calming music and begin a yoga session. It is however long I want it to be that night. Sometimes Ford even joins in!

We then spend some time talking and then praying together. This is our favorite time of the evening. We’re in our beautiful and calm bedroom, on our deliciously comfortable bed, just taking each other in. Once prayers are over, we lay down and turn on the sleep meditation. We drift off easily and peacefully.

Before // After : Whole House

Hi, loves! Here today to bring you an awesome before and after. This is from a fellow KonMari Adventures member and she was sweet enough to share this whole process with us! Such a lovely home. Hope you like it!


Closet- B- 1
Closet- A- 3
Closet- B- 2
Shoes, Before
Closet- A- 1
Shoes, after
Closet- A- 2
kon-mari’d scarves!


Master Bedroom (afters only):

guest2 guest3

Guest Bedroom (after only):



Childrens’ bedroom

BR- B- 3   BR- B- 2

BR- A- 2
BR- A- 3

Bathroom (Afters only):

Bath- A- 1  Bath2- A- 1  BR- A- 1

Play Room:

play2   play1

Kitchen (afters only):

K- A- 4  K- A- 3  K- A- 2   K- A- 1




LR-B-1   LR-B-@ LR- B- 5   LR- B- 3   LR- A- 2  LR- A- 1

Living Room:

Living- A- 2  Living- A- 1

Downstairs Living Room:

DR- A- 1   downstairs1


Hey guys! I was planning on posting in the order of Mari’s guidelines (that’s how I did them), but I just didn’t get great pics. So… here are my linens! This one FELT AMAZING. It is so nice to know that I can have guests over at a moments notice without wondering if we have matching sheets. I store the sheets and extra pillowcases folded up INSIDE one of the pillow cases. It keeps them all together and is less visual clutter.  Next up: My guest room!

P.S. I am SO sorry for the horrible picture quality! Silly mess up with my photo storage… the rest will be better, promise 😉

Before: one freaking HOT MESS. 

AFTER: Super duper lovely, and easy to access. Just one extra set of sheets for the guest bed (we kept the flannel for winter). Freeeeeeedom, ya’ll!!!!



Prior to KonMari, I had never gotten rid of a book. As an English major and self proclaimed bibliophile, it made me sad to think of getting rid of books. But once I started going through them, it was maddeningly easy. So many books I had only sort of liked, or hadn’t even read. Once those were culled, I was able to see the books I really loved!! It made me feel so much lighter. And bonus… I started reading more!